The problems raised by the frequent use of cars by the population Essay

How many people drove to work this morning? There are over 25 million people in the UK who travel to work each morning and over 60% of these people use their cars. This means that a staggering 7.5 million people are turning their backs on the more environmentally friendly means of transport everyday simply because they want a more comfortable journey, using their air conditioning or making their seats recline.

Non-renewable forms of energy, such as petrol and coal, produce gases, which are made up mainly form carbon dioxide, these are known as greenhouse gases and lead to global warming. This happens when the carbon dioxide causes the hot air from the sun to be trapped inside the protective ozone layer causing the world’s temperature to rise. Chloro Flouro Carbons (CFC’s) create the ever-growing hole in the ozone layer making the sun increasingly dangerous for us to be in. Much of the pollutants contributing to global warming come directly from the exhaust fumes from cars.

We all know that it is a little more comfortable to travel by car, but at what price? The hole in the ozone layer is not going to get smaller therefore it is not fair to leave all of our environmental problems to the generations to come. Simply because we may not be alive to experience any serious effects of global warming, it does not mean that our children, grand children and great grand children will not have to experience them.

It is not only the increasingly dangerous sunrays that we should be worrying about, global warming has many different and just as horrific affects on our world. A build up of greenhouse gases causes a temperature rise, which will result in ice caps melting, in turn causing the sea levels to rise. As the sea level continues to rise, low-lying countries are put at an increasingly serious risk from flooding. Some third world countries, such as Bangladesh are likely to experience major flooding forcing them to spend huge amounts of money on such things as dykes and dredging. This results in these low-lying third world countries to get in to more and more debt. All of this is because developed countries did not respect their environment and decided to take their car to work this morning. And tomorrow morning. And the next morning.

Using the car is not only bad for the environment, there are other reasons to find alternative means of transport to get to school or work. The world’s developed countries have the growing problem of obesity as well as being the main contributors to global warming. A lot of the contribution to global warming from these countries is in the form of carbon dioxide, from car fumes. Because of this, it seems only fair, if not logical, to cut down the amount that we use our cars, which in turn will cut down the amount of carbon dioxide being released in to the atmosphere. This will provide people with regular exercise as well as being a method of completely environmentally friendly transportation.

Another way of reducing the build up of greenhouse gases is by using public transport. An adult return on the train to London costs around �12. Driving by car from Oxford to London and back uses up about half a tank of petrol costing around

Phoebe Ladenburg

�20, parking in London can cost up to �50 a day, which is about four times the cost of taking the train, and causes much more environmental damage.

Despite the seeming simplicity of protecting the environment there are also many problems related to means of more eco-friendly transport. Public transport such as buses and trains can have any number of disadvantages such as being unreliable, infrequent or in bad condition. People living in remote areas of the country may have an infrequent bus or train service, or not have one at all; this would mean that a car is

essential to their life style. Even if a bus runs regularly from a certain location, if it is late people will loose faith in the service and may use their cars instead.

A possible solution to these problems would be to introduce a popular car, which runs on renewable energy sources. This way people would have the flexibility and reliability of an ordinary car and not contribute to global warming at the same time. However, although these cars like these exist, because they do not have enough popularity, they are expensive and under-developed so in turn are very rarely used.

I believe that the government needs to give careful consideration to the issue of inadequate public transport. Over the last few years there have been numerous problems with major train delays, not to mention casualties involved in various train crashes.

I believe that buses and train journeys should be made less expensive to encourage more people to take public transport. If the government spend more money funding the bus and train services it might make it possible for people who live in more remote areas to take the bus or train without relying so heavily on their cars and, therefore, using them less. Although this idea may not be popular at first, I believe that the cost of the environment is a lot more important in the long run. If no action is taken now, there will be serious damage done in the future and it will cost a lot more money to the government.

Although there is already a lot of irreversible damage done, if we take action now, we may be able to stop it before it is too late.